ONSTAR IS HOST FOR AUGUST LUNCHEON
by Paul Borden, photos by Pepe Delfino
And the hits just keep on coming.
Once again, a full house of more than 40 members and guests were in
attendance for SAMA’s monthly luncheon, which OnStar hosted on Aug. 19
at Smith & Wollensky’s at the south tip of Miami Beach.
Steve Schwinke, Director of Advanced Systems Development for OnStar,
the granddaddy of automotive telematic services, made the
Schwinke is responsible for development of new hardware platforms,
mobile apps, smart grid and innovation of new services for OnStar,
which was started in 1995 and now has 6 million customers in the U.S.,
Canada and China.
In fact, Schwinke noted that Chinese motorists use the service at a
pace that is five times greater than that of U.S. consumers!
Nationally, the company ranks fifth behind the likes of Coca-Cola,
Verizon, Microsoft, and McDonald’s in brand awareness among the
In the Miami area alone, there are 53,000 subscribers who account for
an average of 700 emergency responses, 430 Good Samaritan calls, 420
airbag/collision notifications, 200 roadside assistant calls, 248,000
turn-by-turn requests and 36 stolen vehicle assistance requests a
OnStar services fall into two categories, safety and security ($190
per year) and directions and turn-by-turn navigation (an additional
$100), and Schwinke detailed two recent developments of note:
-- Services are now available for owners of non-GM vehicles through
the OnStar FMV (For My Vehicle) program. The necessary equipment is
sold at outlets such as Best Buy at a cost $279 plus installation.
Schwinke said the service is available in about 90 percent of the Top
100 vehicles on the road today.
-- Many of the OnStar functions, such as an update on vehicle
diagnostics (Need an oil change? Low on gas? Got a flat tire?), are
now operable via mobile apps available on iPhone and Android devices.
We want to thank Steve and the Axis Agency hosts Stephanie Camargo,
Angela Diaz, and Melissa Galarza for their time and effort in making
the August luncheon such a success!
Before the presentation, a short business meeting was conducted.
Treasurer and membership chairman Marcello Serrato reported that not
only are the finances in good shape, but we have two new members.
Michelle Espinoza (Xtreme Line TV) and Luis Fernandez (El Garage TV)
swell our membership roles to 117 -- and there is room for more!
John Kiskinis noted that the prospects are looking good for a return
to Joe’s Stone Crabs for the annual luncheon previewing the auto show
in October. Be sure to watch your email for updates on that event. The
date will be Oct. 20.
The annual South Florida International Auto Show media day will be
Oct. 28, and we will have our auto show luncheon and awards
presentations that day. Ron Beasley and his committee will do their
judging and select winners for our annual auto show awards, which,
along with the recipient of the Terry Jackson Memorial Award, will be
announced at the luncheon.
Edward Williams from Homestead-Miami Speedway also announced that
current NASCAR and former Formula 1 and CART driver Juan Pablo
Montoya, a Miami resident, will be available at a press conference at
the Mayfair Hotel and Spa on Tuesday, Aug. 23. This is a rare
opportunity to catch a Sprint Cup driver for an interview outside of
the usual race week opportunities.
No date or place has been set for the September luncheon, so be sure
to check your email early in the month for the usual invitation.
Nissan will be the sponsor.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Giselle Delgado, Marcelo Serrato, and German
Angelo Serrato, Maria Ravani, Tony Serrato,
and Ady Coutinho
Erika Blanco, Ron Beasley, and Odette Jimenez
David Moreno, Kurt Ernst, Jeffrey Ross, and Malcolm Hogan
Angelica and Joe Willard
Gaby Delfino and Jose Delfino
Click on Pictures to enlarge
Giulianna Levin, Melissa Galarza (GM),
Angie Diaz (GM), and Gaby Delfino
Mark Elias, Steve Schwinke (OnStar), and
Melissa Galarza (GM), Angie Diaz (GM), Tony
Serrato, and Stephanie Camargo
German Botero, Al Vasquez, Marlen Bedoya,
and Joe Castello
Tony Lesesne, Emerito Pujol, Angelica
Willard, Joe Williard, and Woodie Lesesne
Luca Romagnoli , Patrick Alvarez, Daniel
Rich Babl, Melissa Nobles, and
Tony Serrato, Steven Marks,
Melissa Galarza (GM)
Dick Kelley, Tony Serrato, Marcelo Serrato,
Marlen Bedoya, and Angelo Serrato
Steve Schwinke (OnStar)
Steve Schwinke (OnStar)
Maria Ravani, Giulianna Levin, and Gaby Delfino
Giselle Delgado and Giorgio Cerboncini
Ray Mummery, Jennifer Naszradi, and Ron